DALLASÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬"NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said Ben Roethlisberger received no backing from his Pittsburgh Steelers teammates when he interviewed them as part of a disciplinary inquest into the two-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback.
Goodell's comments, published by Sports Illustrated on Monday, come on the day that Roethlisberger and the Steelers were to arrive in Dallas to prepare for Sunday's Super Bowl against the Green Bay Packers.
Roethlisberger was suspended by Goodell for six games, later reduced to four, after he was accused of sexual assault last year.
No legal charges were ever brought in the case but the player was suspended for breaching the league's "personal conduct policy"Â.
Goodell said that he had spoken to "I bet two dozen (Steelers) players"Â as part of his investigation into Roethlisberger.
"Not one, not a single player, went to his defence. It wasn't personal in a sense, but all kinds of stories like, ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‹Å“He won't sign my jersey,"Â' he said.
The commissioner, who has made improving off-field conduct a major priority, said he "doesn't feel any connection"Â with the former Pro Bowl quarterback.
The burly, 28-year-old Roethlisberger will be striving for his third Super Bowl ring in six years when he takes the field at Cowboys Stadium.
After sitting out his suspension, Roethlisberger helped the Steelers compile a 12-4 record to become the AFC's second seed, steering them past division rival Baltimore in the playoffs and then downing the New York Jets in the AFC championship to improve his career postseason record to 10-2.
Roethlisberger is due to address the media later on Monday.